Ethreain the Lich is a ranged intelligence Hero that uses his abilities to slow his enemies down with his ice-based attacks, as well as giving a boost to ally defenses, and serves as a great teamfight ganker with his powerful ultimate. He can use Sacrifice to easily level up and keep his mana high, making him very good at harassing in the early stages of the game. While a relatively frail hero and mostly known as a support, he can prove to be a force to be reckoned and mighty foe to stand with as he can render the attempts of multiple enemies futile with his ultimate, Chain Frost. Lich is a powerful crowd controller and can easily turn a teamfight, or dominate in a lane.
- Spamming Frost Blast and Sacrifice early game can be extremely effective by harassing and denying efficiently.
- An effective strategy is to take Sacrifice immediately. Even though you won't need the mana earned from it, you can deny a creep immediately to prevent the enemy from earning gold (and experience if you did so away from their XP range) and to pull the lane towards your tower.
- Continue using Sacrifice on friendly creeps as they travel towards your lane, when done properly you can Sacrifice the creep within your and your lane partner's XP range, but outside of the XP range of your enemy, when done consistently an enormous level advantage can be obtained. This is especially important to do when laning with heroes who have powerful ultimates. For instance, when laning with a Viper against a Riki , getting Juggernaut to level 6 before Brewmaster can net you a kill, whereas Brewmaster getting to level 6 before Juggernaut will make it much more difficult for Juggernaut to kill Brewmaster, due to Brewmaster's Primal Split ability which nullifies Juggernaut's ultimate.
- Despite primarily being a support hero, Lich can play a very effective mid. Combining his powerful Frost Blast to harass the enemy while denying his own creeps can shut down the enemy's laning phase.
- Ice Armor is a very cheap yet effective ability. Cast it on nearby allies to keep their armor up, or yourself to increase your own survival.
- The often overlooked quality of Ice Armor is that it slows anyone who is hitting protected by it unit (even a creep), so it helps you to get away from a melee heroes very effectively, or you can use it aggressively by casting on your creeps in laning phase to slow down enemy hero and try to kill or severely harass him.
- Keep in mind that Ice Armor can be set to auto-cast, automatically casting it on heroes that are being attacked.
- Since Lich already has high armor thanks to his Ice Armor, getting a Cloak or even Hood of Defiance will greatly improve his survivability. It can also be built into Pipe of Insight later.
- Chain Frost can be one of the most devastating ultimates in the game, and can easily turn a teamfight in your favor when used properly. Use it to deal damage quickly to clustered Heroes.
- One of the biggest disadvantages of Chain Frost is its slow movement speed. This gives time for enemies to split apart preventing chain frost from bouncing. You can however, work with heroes like Dark Seer's Vacuum, Faceless Void's Chronosphere or Enigma's Black Hole which locks heroes in place taking the full damage from Chain Frost for an extremely devastating damage.
- Heroes like Queen of Pain, Death Prophet or Tiny are able to clear creep waves quickly allowing Chain Frost to deal its full damage to heroes.
- When casting Chain Frost on a lone Hero (targeting the hero with Chain Frost) with 5 creeps, there is approximately ~55% chance of it hitting a hero twice, and ~65% of it hitting a hero twice with 3 creeps. This almost assures a kill on most lone heroes provided the enemy has no escape mechanism with 3 creeps at early levels. Be sure to follow up with a Frost Blast to slow them from escaping Chain Frost range.
- If Lich catches the enemy team killing Roshan, using Chain Frost will force them to desist and/or deal huge damage to all of them; as Roshan's Lair is very difficult to disperse inside, especially when slowed.
- Refresher Orb will increase his ultimate ability's damage output by a very large margin, especially if it is a follow up on disabling team fight abilities such as Tidehunter's Ravage, Faceless Void's Chronosphere or Magnus' Reverse Polarity.
- After Aghanim's Scepter is acquired, Lich can cast Chain Frost on spell immune Ancient or Mud Golem camps to make the jungle dangerous to traverse or gank from, as the frost ball will jump infinitely on the spell immune units, and jump to enemies passing by.
- Lich's voice actor, Gary Schwartz, also voiced the Heavy and Demoman classes in Team Fortress 2, another title by Valve. Lich's lines, "UM NUM NUM" refer to a line said by the Heavy: the first is an alternate to "OM NOM NOM", used when the Sandvich Edible Device is consumed.
- Lich is almost a copy of the Warcraft 3 Lich hero, who can learn Frost Nova, Frost Armor and Dark Ritual; in Dota 2, these abilities were renamed to Frost Blast, Ice Armor and Sacrifice, respectively. Only the ultimate ability Death and Decay was completely exchanged with Chain Frost.
- In the first iteration of Invoker's abilities, when the order of his three orbs determined the spell that was invoked, Frost Nova was one of his abilities and functioned almost identically to the current spell, and was mapped to Quas Quas Exort.
- In DotA, Lich was known as Kel'Thuzad, a notable character from the Warcraft universe.
- In an earlier version of DotA, Lich and Crystal Maiden shared the same Frost Nova ability. In later versions, Crystal Maiden's abilities was changed into a target-area slow called Crystal Nova, while Lich kept the original version.
- Anatomically, Lich's cranium has no visible sutures, another proof of his age.
- Lich's response (Dead man drifting) might be a reference to original Lich's response in Warcraft 3 (Dead man walking).
- Fixed the order of damage instances on Frost Nova.
- Fixed Frost Armor auto-casting while Lich is channeling.
- Fixed Chain Frost not working with Refresher.
- Fixed Chain Frost being dodgable.
- Fixed the following spells being castable on magic immune allies: Nightmare, Frost Armor, Nature's Guise, Holy Persuasion, Decrepify, Astral Imprisonment, Shadow Word and X Marks The Spot.
- Fixed timing on Chain Frost ministun.
- Fixed Chain Frost having a chance to end prematurely near fog of war edges.
- Fixed a recent bug where chainfrost wouldn't choose a magic immune target to bounce to.
- Fixed Chain Frost deciding late as to which unit it will bounce to next (it would decide after its bounce delay, instead of before).
- Frost Armor sound effect now plays when the buff is refreshed.
- Fixed Lich's Dark Ritual being usable on couriers.
- Added a new custom effect for Lich's Frost Armor.
- Lich's Chain Frost is now more visible.
- Fixed Dark Ritual not being castable on some units.
- Fixed Frost Armor affecting Magic Immune attackers.
- Dark Ritual can no longer target summoned units.
- Adjusted Chainfrost bounce speed.
- Units sacrificed via Dark Ritual won't give deny XP to enemies.
- Dark Ritual now displays mana restored.
- Fixed Chain Frost and Paralyzing Cask such that they now bounce correctly when their target unit dies/dodges.
- Added projectile vision to Windrunner's Powershot and Lich's Chain Frost.
- Fixed Chain Frost stopping immediatly once it finds a magic immune unit.
- New model for Lich, who is re-enabled!
- Fixed Chain Frost initial cast being unable to target magic immune (ministun still works on them).
- Fixed Chain Frost bounces slowing all magic immune.
- Fixed Lich not playing his attack sound.
- Fixed Chain Frost hitting couriers.
- Fixed Frost Armor to only autocast on heroes.
- Added shield icon for Lich's Frost Armor
- Frost Nova not applying the slow debuff to the target.
- Frost Armor proccing on ranged attacks.
- Ice Armor now slows ranged heroes for the full amount (instead of half).
- Ice Armor can now be cast on spell immune allies.
- Frost Armor can now be cast on buildings.
- Aghanim's Scepter Chain Frost no longer has a bounce limit.
- Frost Armor: has half effect against ranged heroes.
- Slow now stacks with the slow from Frost Nova.
- Cooldown increased from 35/30/25/20 to 44/36/28/20.
- Mana gain increased from 15/30/45/60% to 25/40/55/70%.
- No longer denies enemy XP.
- Now converts your own creep for XP (shared in AoE as normal creep xp bounty).
- Chain Frost bounce count increased from 7 to 10.
- Frost Blast cooldown decreased from 9.25/9.25/9.25/8 to 8.
- Added a 0.2 second buffer time between Chain Frost bounces (to prevent instant explosions for nearby units after the most recent code change).
- Sacrifice cooldown rescaled from 30/27/24/21 to 35/30/25/20.
- Frost Blast primary target damage increased from 50/100/125/175 to 50/100/150/200.
- Ice Armor
- Manacost increased from 25 to 50.
- Armor bonus reduced from 3/6/9/12 to 3/5/7/9.
- Sacrifice cooldown reduced from 55/50/45/40 to 30/27/24/21.
- Movement speed increased by 10.
- Starting damage rescaled from 37-56 to 42-51.
- Frost Blast Level 4 cooldown decreased from 9.25 to 8.
- Movement speed increased by 10.
- Chain Frost bounces count increased from 6 to 7.
- Increased Lich attack range from 500 to 550.
- Added an extra bounce to Scepter upgraded Chain Frost
- Improved Frost Armor
- Undid small part of the previous Dark Ritual nerf (was nerfed from 45 second cooldown to 60/55/50/45 before, and now to 55/50/45/40)
- Dark Ritual cooldown from 45 to 60/55/50/45
- Chain Frost cast range reduced from 800 to 750. Scepter version increased from 800 to 850.
- Reduced Lich's attack range from 600 to 500
- Lich movespeed buffed from 280 to 295
- Chain frost bounce from 7 to 6
- Reduced lich starting int from 20->18
- Reduced str per lvl on Lich from 1.75 to 1.55
- Gave Lich Icy Hands back
- Lich nova now costs 125/150/170/190 from 100/125/155/180
- Lich attack range changed from 570 to 600
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